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Published: 08 July 2024

Professor Kirsty Le Doare from St George's Institute for Infection and Immunity was shortlisted in the top five nominees for the MRC Millenium Medal.

The MRC Millenium Medal is Medical Research Council’s most prestigious personal prize. Nominations are put forward for exceptional researchers who have made a major contribution towards MRC’s mission to improve human health through world-class medical research.

Professor Kirsty Le Doare was nominated for her world-class research on neonatal infection, immunity and protection through vaccination in pregnancy, with a bench-to-bedside approach embedded in clinical studies in the UK and Uganda.

"I am really thrilled to be nominated and humbled to be in such illustrious company.”

- Professor Kirsty Le Doare, Professor of Vaccinology and Immunology at St George's -

Over the last 20 years she has defined the epidemiology of maternal vaccination for Group B Streptococcus (GBS), sepsis and meningitis, contributed to global burden of disease estimates and has led world-renowned research into understanding antibody responses to prevent these infections.

Paving the way for vaccines

In particular, Professor Le Doare’s research has addressed a critical issue for GBS with her antibody response work. It has facilitated an alternative pathway to licensure of the GBS vaccine, which has in turn opened-up a 50-year bottleneck in the vaccine pipeline. This work has enabled these vaccines to move towards phase 3 and 4 clinical trials.

An important element of Professor Le Doare’s work into maternal vaccination is the potential to harness immunity through breastmilk, particularly in the low and middle-income countries where she also works. This new and impactful aspect of her research has already garnered a wealth of international interest from the research community.

Professor Le Doare was also awarded one of the first Future Leaders Fellowships by UK Research and Innovation, which has enabled her laboratory at St George’s to work with industry and act as the technology hub for vaccine assay development.

Learn more about Professor Kirsty Le Doare’s research

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